updated 02:40 am EST, Wed November 28, 2012
Rumors of Schmidt, Brin in vicinity of DC suggest settlement imminent
According to sources familiar with the negotiations, Google CEO Larry Page has met with officials from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to put the finishing touches on a settlement to the nearly two-year investigation of the company's standards-essential patent abuse, antitrust issues, and other matters. Page was allegedly in town trying to stave off a consent decree, forcing the search engine giant to comply with any pending FTC ruling, or a full-fledged lawsuit, and is seeking a "voluntary agreement."
Google is concerned that a consent decree would hurt its reputation, and affect future business prospects and negotiations. "We continue to work cooperatively with the Federal Trade Commission and are happy to answer any questions they may have," Google spokesman Adam Kovacevich said in an e-mail to Bloomberg.
He declined to confirm if Page met with the FTC, and refused discussion on the progress of any settlement talks. Likewise, a spokesman for the FTC also declined comment on pending negotiations with Google.
Amplifying rumors of am imminent agreement with the FTC, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt was spotted in the nation's capital, conversing with the head of the company's Washington DC office. Electronista is attempting to confirm rumors that the remaining senior executive, Sergey Brin, is either in or in transit to the Washington DC metro area. The presence of all three executives, if confirmed, would signal that talks have reached a very high level that requires direct negotiations.